thank you, lane bryant.

inspired by lane bryant.
self portrait

This morning Cedar and I were watching last night's American Idol. Its something we so enjoy doing together. He literally lays with me or cuddles near me and is enamored with the musicians. Sometimes he'll get up and boogie for me, make me laugh and invite me to join. Times like this, I feel like he's such an old soul and not at all behaving his age. His attention span, to lay and watch entire performances and glance at me with a smile or with a "that one felt off" look on his face blows me away. Last week at my parent's house, while watching American Idol, they too were amazed. My sister Dar said "he's just laying there like a teenager"...on his back, knees propped up with his head on a pillow resting on my lap. Laying there watching the entire show. I was glad to share it with them, so that they would believe me when I tell them these things. Cedar and music are one. But this isn't really what I want to talk about...

A Lane Bryant commercial came on while watching the show this morning and I had a very emotional reaction. This stunning, curvy woman on the screen was walking around graceful in her body, running to meet her girlfriends across the street, walking downtown confident and sexy and beautiful, glowing and healthy. I felt really connected to this woman. My heart beat faster and I felt it swell. I felt very celebratory. A part of a tribe. A club of women that embrace this way of being when the media, for years, has only seemed to embrace a particular size and look. And yes, this smaller size and look too is stunning and graceful and glowing and beautiful but the issue is, its not every woman and its definitely not me. And because this leaner way of being is mostly what we see in the media, it feels saturating. To see a young twenty something curvier, not perfectly cut and lean woman walking around in snug sexy clothes and lingerie felt empowering. I could actually see me in her. I could resonate with her so much more and I wanted to meet her for tea and gush about how hot she looked and go lingerie shopping with her. I imagined dancing around the dressing rooms in our undies and not feeling large around one another but rather, celebrating our bodies. I think she would have that effect on me. I felt inspired. I want to be that woman for my friends, both thin and curvy. That woman that is so comfy in her skin that it doesn't matter what size she or anyone else is. That its all about celebrating being a woman and loving yourself and inspiring others to do so. I was this woman once. Now I find that the ebbs and flows of my journey through (in)fertility has presented a daily practice for me of embracing my body. A daily practice that is harder some days (or weeks) than others.

I don't watch a lot of television and if I do, I fast forward through the commercials. I also don't watch a lot of news because so much of it is about opinions when I'd really just love to read about what's going on and form my own opinion. So, I missed the controversy with Fox banning a Lane Bryant commercial of a plus size (HOT) woman walking around in her lingerie, glancing down at her phone calendar to see "meet Dan for lunch" and throwing a coat on over her lingerie clad bod and walking out the door.

I discovered this commercial because after seeing the fully clothed Lane Bryant commercial this morning, I wanted to send it to a friend, and typed it into Youtube and rather, saw this other one...and the stream of comments/opinions about why Fox should or shouldn't have banned this commercial. The word out is that it was banned for one of two reasons (or both?): Sexual suggestion and/or the size of the model and it being inappropriate for earlier television. Neither of those reasons really sat right in my heart. Yes, her putting a coat on over her lingerie and walking out the door suggests that she is meeting "Dan" for sex. But doesn't a Victoria Secret model, laying on the ground or bed with a come hither look suggest the same? And what about Dancing with the Stars (on Fox) and their barely there costumes, grinding up against one another? You better believe it suggests sex to me and all who are watching! ; ) I suppose I am sharing my thoughts about this other commercial because I feel a wee bummed it was banned but again, that's also not really what this is about for me.

I felt moved by all of this today. I've been in a bit of a hard place about my body this week. I think the full moon pulled me into some emotions that are not always at the surface but lie underneath, down in the depths where deep wounds live: Things that people have said or not said about my body. How I sometimes feel broken as a woman that couldn't get pregnant. That my body hasn't done what I suppose it was naturally meant to do. All of that stuff that I have shared many times here before. And as I said to a friend the other day, I know those thoughts are lies. They are not my truth. They are the gremlins, the wounds, the dark side whispering in my ear when I am feeling vulnerable.

What is my truth is that I am built to be curvy and regardless if I can get pregnant or not, I am fully woman and I love being in a space of celebrating that this is who I am. The only times I have been thin, really when I was depressed or starving myself or in the midst of anxiety. What I felt was my healthiest was when I was fresh in love with the man I was going to marry and we ate to our hearts content and I was a yoga lover and running almost every day and hiking and a strong, fit, curvy woman. I was at a time in my life where I attracted a man who loved curves, when previous to that, I was with someone for years that thought I was "chubby" at a size 6. I am now a size 10 or 12 (and at five feet, two inches...well, those are some curvy curves).

I haven't been kind to myself this week and that is why I find it so moving that I actually saw this commercial (when I always fast forward but Cedar had me distracted). And because I had such a free-ing, emotional reaction to it, I imagined hundreds of other women like me around the world feeling the same celebratory oneness. Oh how I wish we could gather on the mountain and have a ceremony to honor this for all women.

So, today, I put on something a bit snugger and I am walking a bit taller and feeling a bit more in my body than I did yesterday. Thank you, Lane Bryant.